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Register File Energy Optimization for Snooping Based Clustered VLIW Architectures

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2 Author(s)
Nagpal, R. ; Indian Inst. of Sci., Bangalore ; Srikant, Y.N.

Frequent accesses to the register file make it one of the major sources of energy consumption in ILP architectures. The large number of functional units connected to a large unified register file in VLIW architectures make power dissipation in the register file even worse because of the need for a large number of ports. High power dissipation in a relatively smaller area occupied by a register file leads to a high power density in the register file and makes it one of the prime hot-spots. This makes it highly susceptible to the possibility of a catastrophic heatstroke. This in turn impacts the performance and cost because of the need for periodic cool down and sophisticated packaging and cooling techniques respectively. Clustered VLIW architectures partition the register file among clusters of functional units and reduce the number of ports required thereby reducing the power dissipation. However, we observe that the aggregate accesses to register files in clustered VLIW architectures (and associated energy consumption) become very high compared to the centralized VLIW architectures and this can be attributed to a large number of explicit inter-cluster communications. Snooping based clustered VLIW architectures provide very limited but very fast way of inter-cluster communication by allowing some of the functional units to directly read some of the operands from the register file of some of the other clusters. In this paper, we propose instruction scheduling algorithms that exploit the limited snooping capability to reduce the register file energy consumption on an average by 12% and 18% and improve the overall performance by 5% and 11% for a 2-clustered and a 4-clustered machine respectively, over an earlier state-of-the-art clustered scheduling algorithm when evaluated in the context of snooping based clustered VLIW architectures.

Published in:

Computer Architecture and High Performance Computing, 2007. SBAC-PAD 2007. 19th International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

24-27 Oct. 2007